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Direct Group hits the mark with their new LMS

Direct Group – formally Ryan Direct – launched their new Totara learning management system to engage and grasp the attention of its learners.

The Challenge

Aiming to engage more employees and offer a wider learning experience, Direct Group defined their need for a more powerful online platform with specific functionality to meet their needs.

Most importantly, the right solution needed to be flexible, so the LMS could grow and adapt with the company:

“The basic LMS we had couldn’t be developed any further and we wanted to offer something more engaging and fun to give employees a wider learning experience. Having access to Learning Pool’s entire support team also appealed immensely and we felt sure we’d benefit from having our own dedicated Learning Consultant, to show us how to make the most of our system.” - Victoria Tinsley, Training Manager, Direct Group

The Solution

The right solution needed to fit a detailed set of requirements created by Direct Group which included, easy to use reporting, performance management, competencies, a customisable user interface and being able to manage regulatory training.

Totara Learn (LMS) with Learning Pool was the perfect fit for Direct Group.

Pam Wiggins, Head of HR and Talent at Direct Group, commented on why they chose to team up with Learning Pool.

“When we met Learning Pool at Learning Technologies exhibition they really spoke our language, made everything simple and were helpful right from the start. I don’t think we could have done it without them.” - Pam Wiggins, Head of HR and Talent, Direct Group

The flexible and highly customisable nature of Totara meant that our new LMS was fun, interactive and on-brand, in a matter of a few months.

The platform has a mascot named ‘Gladis’ who is a colourful digital character that helps engage learners and personifies the platform, highlighting the importance of ongoing training in the organisation. Direct Group worked closely with Learning Pool to ensure the platform, while still keeping on company brand, was bright and engaging.

Direct Grou[ LMS

It was also crucial that the LMS met the very tight security and technology requirements, which is a critical factor for organisations like Direct Group, active in the financial services industry.

What particularly appealed was that, security standards and compliance are a high priority for Learning Pool. The company is certified to the international standard for information security, ISO 27001.

Successful launch campaign

After four months of development, Direct Group’s Totara Learn was ready to go live. To prepare, the team made sure there was plenty of content for the employees to engage with straight away.

With help and guidance from Chris Allan, their Learning Pool Learning Consultant, the team created and executed a successful launch campaign including:

  • road shows – multiple launch events around the UK for managers to learn about the new platform and communicate its benefits to their teams
  • life size cut out of the LMS mascot, Gladis, to attend the events
  • the launch of revamped company values and competencies along with the platform
  • decorated offices advertising the LMS and its benefits
  • two weeks of emails and targeted communications encouraging users to log on and explore the new Totara Learn
  • lots of communication in the lead up to the launch, followed up with activities to get involved in during the four-day launch week

Direct Group’s Training Manager, Victoria Tinsley commented on the success of the launch.

“The support from Learning Pool is amazing. Our Learning Consultant, Chris, actually came along to our roadshow events, put a Gladis branded t-shirt on and helped demonstrate the new platform to managers.” - Victoria Tinsley, Training Manager, Direct Group

The Results

Direct Group has transformed their approach to learning by implementing Totara Learn.

The organisation has experienced high adoption rates with over 80% of learners now using the platform. Some of the feedback included the new site being easier to use and employees have even asked for other e-learning modules to complete.

Further to the launch they have achieved nearly 2000 completions of modules that are not compliant, so they’re voluntary and this is people choosing to learn.

Stakeholder buy-in has been instrumental to the success of the new LMS and the team are now looking to apply the platform for various training awards and seeking accreditation from professional bodies within the insurance industry for the technical online learning courses.

Pam Wiggins is delighted with the success so far, and said:

“Everybody loves it! It’s colourful, engaging and easy to use. It’s such a transformation from what we had before. Our stakeholders want to enter it for different awards and our employees have even asked for more e-learning to complete.” - Pam Wiggins, Head of HR and Talent, Direct Group

Direct Group are now looking to develop a new appraisal system using Totara Learn, and want to put in place learning plans to encourage further personal growth and development of their team.